Men who perpetrate military sexual assaults tend to be indiscriminate;—they will destroy the lives of men as easily as women.
Indeed, because men enter the military in much higher numbers than women, the majority of military sexual assault victims are men. In a 2013 report on sexual assault, the Pentagon estimated that 26,000 service members experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012; 53% of those attacks were directed at men, mostly by other men.
It has been estimated that 38 military men are sexually assaulted every day; “The culprits almost always go free, the survivors rarely speak, and no one in the military or Congress has done enough to stop it.” A few survivors did talk to GQ Magazine; you can read their stories here.
In order to explain sexual assaults, one factor that clinicians and social scientists have advanced is “toxic masculinity,” which may be exacerbated by toxic environments. Toxic is defined as “the constellation of socially regressive male traits that serve to foster domination, the devaluation of women, homophobia, and wanton violence.”
Such traits appear to flourish in certain toxic environments more than in others. Prisons comprise a toxic environment, and the military is another.
Do the ideas of toxic masculinity and toxic environments sound valid to you?
Whatever your views on the extent to which traits and environments become toxic, I hope you will steer children away from bullying and recognize that neither military service members nor imprisoned men and women deserve to be sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, or otherwise abused—in violation of international law.